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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-17028: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 4 June 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken in response to the figures in the report, Homelessness in Scotland: Update to 30 September 2017, which recorded that 6,581 children were in temporary accommodation, representing an increase of 594 on the previous year.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 12 June 2018

We want time in temporary accommodation to be as short as possible and we are increasing housing supply to help with this.

Temporary accommodation is an important part of Scotland’s strong homelessness legislation and we are committed to ensuring that temporary accommodation is of good quality and serves the needs of its residents in helping to ensure positive outcomes for those experiencing homelessness.

Last month the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group released its recommendations for transforming temporary accommodation, most of which we have accepted in principle. Together with the Group’s previous recommendations around eradicating rough sleeping that were issued in March, there is a focus on preventing the need for temporary accommodation in the first place, by reducing demand through effective prevention measures, and improving outflow or move-on by increasing appropriate options for accommodation.

Proposed measures include the development of a national system of rapid rehousing, including moving to a ‘Housing First’ model for those with most complex needs – where people, for whom it is appropriate, move straight into a permanent, settled home rather than temporary accommodation.

It is intended that the Action Group will submit its final set of recommendations on ending homelessness at the end of June and following this, together with our partners, we will bring forward a programme of work to take forward the recommendations.

In October we reduced the period from 14 to 7 days that families with children and pregnant women are in unsuitable temporary accommodation, except in exceptional circumstances.